Several Tips for Successfully Managing Remote Teams
Running a remote team is a growing trend in the business world. In fact, the latest statistics suggest that as much as 16% of global companies are fully remote. Other than this, a large number of companies allows telecommuting in at least some form. These numbers alone testify about the importance that this trend is going to have in the future world of business. Therefore, aspiring entrepreneurs may want to learn a thing or two about the art of successfully managing remote teams.
1. Design a viable schedule and allow for flexible work hours
Running a remote team gives you a chance to get access to a much larger (and richer) talent pool. The problem is, however, that these people sometimes come from different backgrounds, which might make communication somewhat more difficult. Also, they might be working in different time-zones, which is why a traditional business model (the 9 to 5 one), might be quite ineffective, even if all that you ask of them is to sit by their computers for 8 hours. Instead, you need to set some deadlines but make sure they’re viable and realistic. Also, it’s usually not a good idea to wait for the last moment, seeing as how remote workers sometimes tend to be less than reliable. Instead, give yourself some time to put your contingency plan into action.
2. Give them a chance to work in a traditional office
No, we’re not suggesting that you should get a lease on an office in every city where you have an employee. Such a thing would be both financially impossible and outright ridiculous to even attempt. However, what you can do is pay for them to get a workstation in a nearby coworking space. The advantages of this are numerous. First of all, there’s a reason why traditional offices exist in the first place and it’s due to the reason that they’re optimized for performance. Second, it gives remote workers a sense of belonging instead of feeling alienated from the rest of their industry.
3. Pick the right collaboration tool
Saying that you don’t have an office is not necessarily true, especially if you don’t define an office as a physical space. By picking a collaboration tool and teaching your team how to participate in major projects there, you’ll create a sense of an office – a virtual office. A collaboration tool provides you with an option to share files and communicate with your coworkers, as well as the ability to effortlessly collaborate on massive projects. This also makes it much easier for tracking project history.
4. Find a way to boost employee loyalty
One of the biggest challenges of successfully running and managing a remote team lies in finding a way to make your team members loyal enough. Due to physical distance and lack of human contact, your employees will find it easier to just outright abandon you in favor of a better offer (at least on paper). This is why you need to find a way to boost their loyalty in the virtual environment and there are several methods that just might work. First of all, you need to be honest towards your employees and incredibly diligent when it comes to their payments. Second, check in on them even if they don’t have any pending tasks or incoming deadlines. Finally, try to organize a meet-up every once in a while, if there are a lot of remote workers living nearby.
Keep in mind that, sooner or later, the productivity of your enterprise will depend on your ability to manage your remote teams. With these four tricks, you can make improvements in fields of organization, communication and loyalty, all of which are pivotal to your company’s success.